Long-term supporters of the Foundation, Atesh and Bernadette decided to make Atesh’s 50th birthday extra special this year. By making a personal donation and inviting friends and family to donate to The Foundation in lieu of gifts, this generous couple raised an incredible $110,000 and have impacted the lives of hundreds of people in Fiji.
How did you come to know about The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ?
We have known The Foundation for a long time and have supported in various ways. We loved The Foundation’s great work in terms of the difference it makes to the lives of so many. The work it does helping one person, which benefits several immediate family members.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
We are originally from Ba, Fiji Islands and migrated to NZ in December 1994. Bernadette has been a Faculty Leader of Science at Selwyn College for 22 years and Atesh is currently a Managing Director of a company that has supported businesses in accountancy and finance advice for 20 years. In our spare time, we like to read, love travelling, doing charitable work, socialising, having fun and making a difference. Our two young adult children do add a lot of fun and excitement to the family.
Why was the Mobile Eye Clinic in Fiji the project you wanted to support?
We believe eyesight is the most critical of our senses and its loss inhibits us from much of life. The Mobile Eye Clinic has our support as it allows a reach into isolated and unreachable geographical areas and can exemplify many needs.
We have been firm believers in helping those, who are the “forgotten ones” or ones that get looked over and realised that the “mobile clinic” reaches these folks that could do with a little bit of “hand up”. We will continue to support The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ in their cause in the future as the sense of vision is superbly important to us. We spent the first 20 years of life in Toge, Ba, Fiji (which was a remote part of Fiji 30 years ago) we realise and appreciate the difficulties folks have accessing medical care.
50 is an important milestone. Tell us a bit about your birthday celebrations and what made them so special?
Our friends and family were appreciative of the opportunity to help us give back to our home country and we are very grateful for all the support.
Bernadette always does everything wholeheartedly and it was an occasion to mark 50 years of existence with the “second half” of life making a bigger difference to those that need our time and resources.
Do you have any advice for any of our supporters who want to do a birthday fundraiser or gather friends and family together to raise funds for The Foundation?
It’s a great transparent way of raising funds and for a fantastic cause. An amazing way to give back to humanity, a small amount of money, as little as $25 helps someone with their sight!
The team at The Foundation was absolutely awesome to work with every step of the way, from advice, setting up a “Givealittle” page to turning up to our birthday celebrations and spreading the good word of The Foundation’s work.
If you feel inspired to undertake your own fundraiser for The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ, check out ideas and guides over on our fundraising page.